Sofia Marin, a first-year student in business administration with a concentration in marketing, faced a difficult decision when deciding where she was going to college. She was choosing between attending an American university or returning to Spain, where she grew up.
Marin and her family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, during her freshman year of high school after her father’s job relocated them from Madrid, Spain. Facing the challenge of culture shock, language barriers and adapting to American ways of life, Marin had the urge to return to Spain.
“I didn’t know where I wanted to go to college either in the U.S. or in Spain,” said Marin. “I was planning on beginning school in the U.S. and then transferring to an American University in Madrid, until I found the International Business Dual Degree Program.”
The International Business Dual Degree (IBDD) Program allows students to spend their first two years at NC State before studying at an international partner institution. Marin found the Spanish track in the IBDD Program to be the perfect compromise that would allow her to spend her junior and senior years of college with friends and family in Madrid.
“I am interested to know how university in Spain works and how the resources and extracurricular activities will compare to NC State,” said Marin. “I want to know how students balance their free time with academics and learn about professional life in Spain through my four-month internship.”
Along with joining the program, Marin has also become an IBDD language ambassador for prospective high school students interested in coming to NC State and joining the IBDD program. Language ambassador responsibilities include reaching out to students via phone and email, attending recruitment events like Preview Day and participating in IBDD informational sessions.
For international students beginning their academic career at a partner university, Marin’s advice is to get involved on campus and branch out of their groups. She also suggests trying as many cultural cliches as possible and do a lot of networking with classmates and professors.
“Whether you’re a student like Sofia who already has international life experiences or you are someone who grew up in the United States and have studied a language in high school, the IBDD program offers students in the Poole College of Management an in-depth and intense experience that combines business education, fluency in a second language and international work experience that prepares students for globally-focused careers,” said Robert Sandruck, director of global programs.
This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.